The Descendants of Johann August Heinrich Bohnstedt in Michigan and Florida

by Thomas Allen Bohnstedt, California USA
     (the text of this page is my intellectual property. Please do not copy and repost without my written permission)


Family of Perry H. Bohnstedt, circa 1902; L-R: Genevieve, Perry, Harold (baby), August, Gertrude


Johann August Heinrich Bohnstedt

Johann August Heinrich Bohnstedt, the fifth child (and third son) of Carl and Dorothea Bohnstedt, was born in 1837, possibly in Jersleben, Germany. He was married in 1863 in Clark County Illinois to Harriet Prevo, and they had nine children in all, and eight of them were girls. Two of these, Clara and Gracie (the youngest), died as children, in the same year they were born. 

1. Grave of Harriet (Prevo) Bohnstedt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois
2. Grave of Amelia Laura (Bohnstedt) Carlyle in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois
3. Grave of Mary Louisa Bohnstedt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois

Mary Louisa died when she was about 15 years old, and Matilda Jane died when she was 12.  Emily was 20 years old when she married Zacharia Dolson in Illinois. Apparently she died the following year, but, according to one record, she allegedly died in Whittier California.  If that isn't strange enough, she was brought back to Illinois and buried in Shawler Cemetery.   Ameila married twice; first to Henry Cline in 1884. Henry died four years later, and Amelia married the following year, in 1889, to James Carlyle. Bessie died at the age of 30 in 1894.

1. Grave of Clara Bohnstedt Bohnstedt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois
2. Grave of Matilda Jane Bohnstedt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois
3. Grave of Grace Gladys Bohnstedt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois

The grim record; 6 out of 10 children died as infants, children, or in young adulthood:  Amelia Laura - 30 years old.  Emily Catherine - 20 years old.  Mary Louisa - 15 years old.  Clara - Infant death.  Matilda Jane - 12 years old.  Gracie - Infant death.

1. Martha Isabelle (Bohnstedt) Vogt, 1867-1890
2. Grave of Martha Isabelle (Bohnstedt) Vogt in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois
3. Grave of Dorothy Anna (Bohnstedt) Dickerson in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, Tampa Florida

One of these, Martha Isabelle Bohnstedt married in Clark County at the age of 22 to Adolph William Vogt, a doctor, but she died two years after she was married. Martha was the great-grandmother of Carl Mahan, whose research made significant contributions to this work.   Dorothy married Stephen Dickerson in 1900, and as far as we know they had one child. Bessie married Orval Curry in 1905 and, from what records we've found, they had three children.

1. Bessie (Bohnstedt) Curry. On the back of the original picture (in which there was another person) Angie Shawler Poorman wrote: "my cousin Bessie Bohnstedt and [illegible]". The man next to her may be her husband Orval Curry.    
2-3. Graves of Bess A. (Bohnstedt) Curry and her husband Orval Curry in Westlawn Cemetery, Farmersburg, Indiana.

August's and Harriet's only son, Perry H. Bohnstedt, was born in 1874 in Illinois. But he relocated to Indiana where he married Laura Gertrude Poorman, and he and his wife Gertrude had three children that we know of: Genevieve (or Geneva), born in 1896 in Shelburn Indiana, Ernest August, born in 1898, and Harold Harper Bohnstedt, born in 1901 in Shelburn.

1. Emily Catherine "Emma" Bohnstedt. On the back of the original picture (in which there was another person) Angie Shawler Poorman wrote: "my cousin Emma Bohnstedt and [illegible]"    
2. Grave of Emily Catherine "Emma" (Bohnstedt) Dolson in Shawler Cemetery, West Union, Illinois. The marker is worn nearly beyond recognition.

Perry died in 1906 when he was about 32 years old, cause unknown. Gertrude later married Harry Wildon. According to Harvin Moore, a descendant of one of Perry's cousins on his mother's side, Perry relocated to Texas in 1907 for a while to try rice farming with his cousin, Ben Poorman.  But the venture, and apparently the relationship, didn't work out.

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1. The baby is most likely August, and his sister Genevieve Bohnstedt, circa 1899
2. Family of Perry and Getrude Bohnstedt; L-R, Son August, Mother Gertrude, daughter Genevieve, Perry, son Harold. This photo may have been taken in Texas.
3. Perry and Gertrude's middle child, Private August Bohnstedt, U.S. Army Air Service Signal Corps (ASSC), First World War

With regard to August Ernest Bohnstedt: We now know that August was born to Perry Bohnstedt and Gertrude (Poorman) Bohnstedt.  August later married Bernice Sheeler in Michigan in 1922.  Within the next couple of years the couple relocated to Alhambra California, near Los Angeles, where August worked as an insurance agent, and Bernice worked as a financial controller for a Los Angeles company.  We still don't know where Bernice died or was buried, but August died in California in 1936 and was buried in San Gabriel California, a few miles east of Alhambra.

1. Grave marker of Perry H. Bohnstedt, Liberty Cemetery, Curryville, Indiana
2. Grave marker of Gertrude (Poorman-Bohnstedt) Wildon.  Perry died when he was 32 years old.  Gertrude later married Harry Wildon.
3. Grave marker of August Ernest Bohnstedt, San Gabriel Cemetery, San Gabriel, California


 From Indiana to Florida

Harold Harper Bohnstedt made his living as a tool and die machinist in the industry-rich area of Flint, Michigan, where he married Helen Emily Gilbert in 1922. Harold and Helen had two sons, Perry Lee Bohnstedt, born in 1924 in Flint Michigan, and Bryce Alan Bohnstedt, born in 1925 in Rankin Michigan.

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1. Harold Harper Bohnstedt and Helen (Gilbert) Bohnstedt
2. L-R; Bryce Bohnstedt and Perry Bohnstedt
3. Grave marker of Harold Harper Bohnstedt, Sunset Hills Cemetery, Flint, Michigan

When America entered the Second World War Bryce served in the Marine 1st Amphibious Corps Defense Battalion, fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific at the Marshall Islands, Gilbert Islands, and Midway.  At the end of the war he married Geraldine Sincock in Flint Michigan in 1945. After serving one more year in the Marine Corps Bryce enlisted in the Air Force and stayed there until 1965. Because of his military career Bryce and Geraldine moved around a lot. They had three children; Stephen Alan Bohnstedt, born in 1946 in Flint Michigan, Robert Michael Bohnstedt born in 1950 in Washington D.C., and Rene' Ann Bohnstedt, born in 1956 at Falmouth Air Force Base near Burns, Massachusetts.

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1. Bryce Alan Bohnstedt, U.S. Marine Corps
2. Stephen Alan Bohnstedt, High School varsity football team picture, Victor Valley High School (near Victorville), about 1964
3. Seth Alan Bohnstedt, (Stephen's son) from a high school yearbook photo
4. Robert Michael Bohnstedt, high school photo

Robert served in the Marine Corps like his father, after which he made his living as a Carpenter and a cabinet maker. He had one daughter that we know of, Rori. Rene' also married and had one child, a son; Daniel DeVaney.   Bryce's oldest son, Stephen, enlisted in the Army in 1966 and was sent to Vietnam.

1. The "burial" sites of Bryce and Perry Bohnstedt are next to each other in a crypt in Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Florida. Bryce is buried with his first wife, Geraldine, and daughter, Rene', who preceded Bryce in death in 1995.
2. Grave of Stephen Alan Bohnstedt, Saint Matthews Gardens Cemetery, Winter Haven, Florida

After leaving the Army in 1968 Stephen made Florida his home, and earned his Associates Degree in horticulture at Polk Community College. He later pursued a career as an agricultural specialist for the State of Florida Department of Agriculture. Stephan was married in 1978 in Winterhaven, Florida, to Paula Elisabeth Wiggins. Stephan and Paula had one child in 1981, a son named Seth Alan Bohnstedt, who carries the Bohnstedt name in Florida.

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1-2. Perry Lee Bohnstedt, U.S. Army
3. Betty (Simpson) Bohnstedt

Bryce's brother, Perry Lee Bohnstedt, served in the U.S. Army at the end of the war, and in 1947 he was married in Flint Michigan to an English girl, Betty Simpson. Perry and Betty started their family in Flint Michigan, and had three children there: Eric Lee Bohnstedt (1950), Susan Lesley Bohnstedt (1955), and Kathleen Emily Bohnstedt (1956).

1. Eric Lee Bohnstedt, School picture
2. Eric Lee Bohnstedt's daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, School picture
3. Grave of Eric Lee Bohnstedt, Woodlawn Memory Gardens, St. Petersburg, Florida

After completing High School about 1968 Eric served in the U.S. Air Force. He was married in 1972 to Cynthia Haakinson and they had one daughter; Jennifer Ann, later that same year.  They divorced in 1976, and Eric married again in May 1983 to Charlene Frost.  Eric was killed later, in October that same year, in a vehicle accident.  Eric did have another daughter named Sarah Elizabeth, but she was born in 1976, and at this time we dont have any information regarding who the mother is, although it might have been Eric's second wife, Charlene Frost.

1. Susan Lesley Bohnstedt, school picture
2. Kathleen Emily Bohnstedt, school picture

Eric's sister, susan had one son, Travis Roberts, and Kathleen had two sons, John and Tyler Inman. Eric's daughter Jennifer had five children, one daughter, Hailey Bohnstedt, and four sons, Jordan, Avery, Keagan and Henry Reuter.  Eric was killed in a vehicle accident in 1983.  Unfortunately, Eric's daughter, Jennifer and her husband, Jeffrey Reuter, were both lost 30 years later in 2013, in a motorcycle accident near Altus, Oklahoma.

1. Eric Bohnstedts daughter, Jennifer Ann (Bohnstedt) and Jeffery Reuter
2. Grave of Jennifer and Jeffery Reuter, Altus Cemetery, Altus, Oklahoma


See Also:
3-31 /
Genealogy 3-3-3: America; Michigan and Florida


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